Housing and Regeneration Bill
Iain Wright (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government; Hartlepool, Labour)
‘if either of the following cases applies.
( ) Case 1 applies where the disposal is of land other than a dwelling.
( ) Case 2 applies where the disposal is’.
This is a technical amendment to ensure that the new legislation replicates the effects of the Housing Act 1996 in relation to disposals that are made without the regulator’s consent. In general, if the regulator’s consent is required for a disposal, and consent is not given, any attempt at disposal is void. The current regime, however, provides for two exceptions that we intend to replicate in the new regime. The first, which is set out in clause 165(2), covers an ordinary individual home buyer who purchases a single dwelling from a registered provider that the latter reasonably believes is for use as their main home. I suggest that such disposals are not void because it would place an excessive burden on the home buyer to establish whether the required consent had been given before buying the dwelling.
The second exception, added by amendment No. 222, is for the disposal of land other than a dwelling, such as an office building. That will reserve the most serious consequences of a disposal without consent—the disposal therefore being void—for disposals of homes. That aims to protect the social housing stock, while placing the minimum possible burdens on third parties doing business with registered providers. I hope that that is self-explanatory and that the Committee will accept that amendment.